Today we drove down the Range to visit Spring Bluff which is a little train station tucked away halfway down the Murphys Creek Road which many Aussies may have heard about during the 2011 floods due to the loss of life and damage done to that area when the 'inland tsunami' hit Toowoomba. During the Carnival of Flowers there are diesel train rides from the Toowoomba railway station to Spring Bluff and the tickets are always sold out well in advance.
Train travellers are greeted by the 'Acting Station Master' who is in his eighties and he performs a song and dance routine and is quite a character. We had a chat while waiting for the train to arrive...
...and here it comes with 400 people on board. We have never had a ride on this train but I really must book a couple of seats next year as I am sure it is an enjoyable experience.
Once the visitors arrive they head up to the cafe for a Devonshire Tea or sandwiches before taking a leisurely stroll through the gardens. There are photos there of the damage done during the floods and it is amazing how the gardens have been restored once again.
If anyone is visiting the Darling Downs this is a very picturesque place to spend some time in. The grounds are open every day and the cafe is open from Fri-Sun from 9.30am - 4.30pm and every day during September. I have lived here for over 40 years and didn't know this until today.
As we weren't far from Highfields my sister decided to take us to see the Reserve Champion garden in the garden competition which won the Grand Champion prize last year. I don't know what it takes to be crowned the Grand Champion and why this garden was only the Reserve Champion garden this year but it is certainly very beautiful.
I would say the owners are quite keen on cars as there were a number of old cars on display and this old ford was accompanied by a quilt made by the sister of one of the owners.
The old and the new!
This car and petrol pump brought back memories for us as our father used to sell Golden Fleece petrol which isn't around any more. Dad also had a car like that as he was a car enthusiast from a young age.
Don't mess with the head of the Complaints Department!
A ride-on mower for the ladies!
There was even a Teddy Bear's Picnic for the children to enjoy. So much work has been put into this garden and the plants alone must have taken hours and hours to put in. There are hundreds of them as this is a very large block. It is well worth a visit if anyone is coming up the Range over the weekend for the last weekend of the Carnival of Flowers.
It has been a very busy week for our city and I am sure that all visitors will have enjoyed themselves. The weather has been beautiful apart from a couple of rainy days which didn't seem to deter a lot of people as I saw them walking around the parks with their umbrellas up and weren't bothered at all. Do pay a visit to our region next year if you love flowers as you won't be disappointed.